SFOX

Algorithmic bitcoin trading: Safe & Smart

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George MelikaMaker@gmelika · Co-Founder, SFOX
Hey everyone, I'm George, and along with Akbar (@takbart) are the co-founders of SFOX. We're excited to see what you guys think. Also feel free to ask me any question about the product. Thanks, George
Zack Shapiro@zackshapiro · Director of Engineering at BUMP (YC W18)
@gmelika It doesn't look like I can get money into this right now when I go to the deposit page. Is there anything I can do until I can deposit?
George MelikaMaker@gmelika · Co-Founder, SFOX
@zackshapiro just dm me the email address you registered with, and I'll make it happen
Zachariah ReitanoHiring@zreitano · Co-founder Roman, EIR prehype, YC S14
Hey George. Would love to learn a little bit more about how you guys started and the motivation behind it.
George MelikaMaker@gmelika · Co-Founder, SFOX
@ZReitano @takbart and I are both huge bitcoin advocates and want nothing less than 100% market adoption of bitcoin ;). One way to make bitcoin more accessible and drive widespread adoption is to reduce the cost of buying and selling bitcoin. And that just so happens to be an area where we have a lot of experience. We both have built several trading platforms, and decided to drop everything and try to build the best trading platform we can build for bitcoin.
Justin Mares@jwmares · Co-author, Traction Book
@gmelika how does this reduce costs? Aren't you just taking advantage of btc arbitrages based on its prices on different exchanges? Honestly curious, not trying to troll :). I think it's a cool product, just didn't look around and immediately get how this reduces costs of buying and selling.
George MelikaMaker@gmelika · Co-Founder, SFOX
@jwmares there are several aspects to this. but the cost centers of buying/selling bitcoins are numerous. First, you have the numerous types of fees you're charged: trading fees as high as 1+%, withdrawal/deposit fees, bank fees, wire transfer fees... etc. Another cost is the spread (bid vs ask price), some exchanges have spreads of over 3x that of equities. There is also the cost of volatility, which in my opinion is probably the biggest hurdle of using btc as a currency (you don't see too many products quoted in btc only). Our view is that opening bitcoin trading to more and more people, by reducing these upfront costs would reduce the structural costs of the bitcoin ecosystem. That's basically our goal, to make it super efficient to buy/sell bitcoin.
Justin Mares@jwmares · Co-author, Traction Book
@gmelika Yep, totally get where the costs come from. How are you getting around those costs though?
George MelikaMaker@gmelika · Co-Founder, SFOX
@jwmares ok, let me try this one more time in a clearer way: 1. We solve the problem of where to trade. At any given time, you don't know where the price is. By helping send trades to the best market, we make the markets more even. 2. We also have algorithms that can move the bid/ask spread in your favor to trade. Over time, we expect this to cause bid/ask spread to come down. 3. We also focus on higher volume and so we can provide lower fees and that has a ripple effect on the market.
Justin Mares@jwmares · Co-author, Traction Book
@gmelika Thanks for the reply, appreciate it. I think everything you're doing makes sense, though I disagree with some of the assumptions (I think) you're making. Not moving the market and finding hidden liquidity are traditionally things that institutional investors care about - is that who you're trying to go after with this? If you're trying to target the 5-10 btc funds cropping up, this makes more sense to me. On an individual level, I get what you're doing (and think it's great) but don't really buy some of the assumptions you've made. Nobody that I know of is (or isn't) investing in btc because of the relatively small costs you mention. People who are putting money into the btc ecosystem are expecting a 20-50% pop, where 1% is essentially meaningless. It's speculation: there's very little high volume trading going on where investors are trying to capture a tick or two. Now, if you're trying to enable high-volume trading that's fine, I just don't see many individual investors caring/having the funds/putting in the time to capture small movements on the price of btc, where some of the stuff you mentioned (fee removal, trading on the best markets, favorable bid/ask spread) come more into play. Tl;dr - think it's super cool, will support it, question some of the assumptions around it :)